About the artwork and sitter
Nathan Appo is a proud Mamu man from Innisfail FNQ with connections to Goreng Goreng and Bundjalung nations, and has a passion for Indigenous men’s mental health. He is the manager of the Business Development team of Deadly Choices, through The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.
’Nathan radiates warmth, generosity and wisdom through his dazzling smile and open welcoming demeanour.’
Nathan is a Movember Australia Ambassador, sitting on the Movember International Members Board advocating for Indigenous men’s health globally. Additionally, Nathan is a committee member for Reconciliation Queensland and was recently appointed to the National Referendum Engagement Group.
‘He invites us to walk with him and first nations people on this journey of reconciliation.’
About the artist
Archibald Prize finalist Judith is a Brisbane-born portrait and landscape artist.
She trained at the Queensland College of Art, and has had many solo shows. Her work explores the play and fall of light across the sitter together with objects, surfaces and textures.
She is a past finalist in the BPP.
“This portrait of Nathan Appo seeks to emanate that warmth and generosity of our First Nations People."
Behind the scenes
It was 2021 and my daughter and I were walking across the Victoria Bridge amongst many first nations people in the annual Survival/Invasion/Australia Day March. A tall Aboriginal man with wavy jet-black hair and a dazzling smile stood on the curb side with his two young children in an Aboriginal flag draped cart.
As we passed, he dashed out and politely requested to photograph the two of us with our handwritten sign. He then thanked us in the most humbling of ways for coming to the march. We were both very touched but not surprised as this was the warmth and generosity I have experienced from First Nations peoples for decades.
This, I realised recently, was Nathan Appo, a prominent and respected leader and advocate for Indigenous youth, health and mental health, amongst many other important roles.
This portrait of Nathan Appo seeks to emanate that warmth and generosity of First Nations People through the gifting to the Australian people of their ‘Uluru Statement From the Heart’.